The CBD's first skate park was opened on Saturday, 2 August 2014, and caters for novice and experienced skaters. The project puts the City of Cape Town on the map as a metro that promotes quality innovative open spaces for the public.
The Gardens Skate Park has transformed a vacant eyesore under the Jutland Avenue Bridge into an exciting recreational space.
An official World Design Capital 2014 project, the City’s design of the park won the Building Trust International PLAYscapes design competition in 2013. The project showcases excellent design-led thinking in the World Design Capital.
‘The award recognised the clever re-use of space and the transformation of a vacant underpass into a vibrant recreational space. We expect that this skate park will bring a unique flavour to the central city and will be a place where many young people can devote time to their passion for skateboarding,’ says the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Community Services and Special Projects, Alderman Belinda Walker.
The City’s Spatial Planning and Urban Design Department designed, funded and constructed this unique urban project and the park will be managed by the City’s Sport, Recreation and Amenities Department which resides within the Community Services Directorate.
The park is predominantly concrete and is fenced off from the surrounding roads and equipped with lights. It caters for both beginner and professional users, and provides for spectator areas on the sides. The flow of the skate park allowed for the natural ground level and utilises the existing retaining wall to create a natural flow from two high points with a pipe jam, manual pads, air wedges and other obstacles in the free-flowing area.
‘The location proved suitable for an activity such as skateboarding and we hope that this project will set the precedent for the use of many of the vacant spaces below the city’s bridges and off-ramps. This skate park is testament to our emphasis on creating quality open spaces for members of the public. This project has involved many stakeholders and it shows that progress is possible when we work together,’ says the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Economic, Environmental and Spatial Planning, Councillor Johan van der Merwe.
This skate park illustrates how innovative thinking and design-centred development can transform vacant and sometimes problematic spaces for the benefit of a wider community, while at the same time promoting inclusivity by emphasising minority sports like skateboarding, rollerblading and BMX-bicycling.